Anne Alves

Anne was one of the social leaders of a civic elite. A Doctor's daughter from Inverness, she married an Edinburgh civil servant, and unlike her brother-in-law George they never owned a country estate. Yet her husband rose to be Lord Provost, and she gained a reputation for giving excellent parties, and being able to supply you with news of everything that was going on in Edinburgh, but without any of it being unkind or scandalous.

Shipland, an estate acquired from Dr Alves's grandfather, Thomas. He was a merchant from Forres who later became Treasurer of Inverness some time before 1720 (9).
Dr John Alves, Physician in Inverness, died October 1788, with £300. (10)
Helen Baillie (10)
16 Charlotte Square
Wealth at death
Her father was a member of the Church of Scotland (9)
She was described in 'Memoirs of a Highland Lady': 'Mrs Arbuthnot very Highland, and they were great favourites... After a visit from [William] and his exellent wife -- they were fond of going about together -- a deal of what was going on seemed to have suddenly enlightened their listeners, and most agreeably. A tale of scandal never spread from them, nor yet a sarcasm. They, from their situation, saw a great deal of company, and no parties could be pleasanter than those they gave.' (quoted in 8 p.309). Her bequests included an annuity of fifty pounds a year to her sister Helen Inglis wife of George Inglis Esq of Kingsmills, Inverness and £100 to Adam Urquhart Esq of St Colm St Edinburgh (7). George Inglis was the youngest brother of Provost Inglis of Inverness, a businessman who took his own life when his bank ran into difficulties. George owned a plantation called Bellfield in Demarara, where the Alves brothers were also investors and planters (9).
Chapel connection
1811, Baptism
Married on
13 Sept 1800
William Arbuthnot
Robert (1801), John (1802), George (1803), Archibald (1804), Helen (1805), William (1807), James (1809), Henry Dundas (1811), Helen Elizabeth (1819), Anne (1822)
Connected to
In 1826 Anne Alves was on Charlotte Charpentier's 'visiting list' along with Emily Bullock, Elizabeth Liddle and Jane Alder's daughters. (4 vol 10 p.40)



  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (National Archives of Scotland CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Gazetteer of the British Isles (Edinburgh: Bartholomew and son, 1966)
  4. Letters of Sir Walter Scott ed. H.J.C. Grierson (London, Constable and Co. 1933)
  5. John F. Mitchell, Edinburgh Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855, volume 3: St John's Episopal Churchyard(The Scottish Genealogy Society, Edinburgh 2003)
  6. Inventory NAS SC70/1/67/167
  7. Will NAS SC70/4/3/3
  8. P. Arbuthnot, Memories of the Arbuthnots of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire (London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd 1920)
  9. I am grateful to Jim Brennan for this additional biographical information.
  10. John Alves' Will, National Archives of Scotland CC11/1/6/351

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